A different creative project each week…from children's parties to sewing curtains

Monday, 29 April 2013

Reupholstering a chair

When Liam and I first got married we were given this secondhand nursing chair that has served me well as I have got up to nurse our four children each night for 5 years.

Recently it has sat in the corner of our bedroom, used only to throw our clothes on at the end of a busy day.

So here is this week's project - to reupholster this gorgeous little chair into something lovely.

In looking back over this blog I have only just realised how much I love dots! So here is another dotty fabric with the promise to branch out in my fabric choice next time.

I bought a meter and a half of cotton fabric. The fabric I chose was not ever so thick because the fabric on the chair was still of good quality. I would suggest if you are fashioning the only cover on a chair that you use a thicker material which will inevitably wear longer.

The only equipment I used for this project was a staple gun, scissors and the fabric I mentioned.
Firstly I cut a rectangle of  fabric that I tucked into the bottom of the seat and stretched to the top. Then folding over the back of the chair I stapled the fabric into the wood. If you are not sure where the wooden structure is to staple into, then feel through the chair to locate. It is vitally important that you staple your fabric to the wood because to staple it into the fabric or cushioning won't hold it at all.

You can see that I stapled the top first and then folded the corners and stapled down the sides. This allowed me to stretch the fabric so it was tight across the back of the chair.

Next, I draped fabric over the chair and tucked it tightly into the same gap between the seat and the back.

Pulling the material down at the sides I stapled them onto the wooden sides. I did this on both sides.

Depending on your chair you can either stretch the fabric along the wooden structure and staple into place, or if you have a round base like mine you can work around it making pleats in your fabric and stapling them into place.

This is an extremely satisfying process. If you go wrong you can simply remove a staple, and yet the whole project takes shape remarkably quickly.
Here was the bottom of my chair. All the fabric is stapled to the wooden base, but still looking untidy until I trimmed it all off. If you want to do a thorough job you should fold the fabric under before you staple it which will ensure the fabric won't fray….but hey-hoe, when did I ever do a thorough job!

Now time for the satisfying ending…

Measure a piece of fabric large enough to cover the back of the chair with some for extra.

Fold an edge behind the material so you have a crisp edge to staple. I began at the top and pinned it into place before stapling it, working one edge at a time.

Up until now none of the staples will be seen on the finished chair. They are either on the bottom of the chair, or will be covered over with this final piece, so pinning and stapling accurately is very important.

The dotty fabric is very forgiving. You don't need to get it in straight lines or to match up. You should be aware of this if you use a bigger, bolder pattern on your fabric.

Remember to constantly stretch your fabric and staple one side at a time down the wooden structure.

Unlike the previous sections you will need to fold each edge under to stop fraying and to ensure a professional-looking finish.

Finally, at the bottom, cover over the gaps with your fabric and staple into place.

The staples will look obvious to you now, but it is surprising how you don't see them on the finished piece.

So, here is my finished chair, and whilst I am sure I will not be nursing on it again, I am certain it will no longer be a clothes horse!!!

This project took me under half an hour and cost me less than £10 in materials.

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